General discussion


Word support for Open standards?

By ProfTheory ·
I was reading about the deal between Novell and Microsoft (see my other post) and it was mentioned in a FAQ that Word will support an "open" standard notable OXML. I thought XML was already on open standard? Who created OXML was it Microsoft? Why was another standard needed? Why doesn't Word simply support ODF (Open Document Format)?

Here is a suggestion I have for the OpenOffice team: only support The early OpenOffice formats and the current and future Open Document Formats. All other formats can be imported/exported by an external app.

Why should the Open Community be corrupted by (what I suspect is) Microsoft's OXML when ODF is fine/better? I have saved files from OOo 2.0 as Word 2003 XML and it seldom looks the same in Word 2003.

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How can this be bad ?

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Word support for Open sta ...

We will be able to serve up word documents without having to run word to create them.

Unless MS get lobotomised we get forward compatibility.

Conversion is an xslt style sheet

Other vendors can extend the format without breaking it.

Now they have to sell word versions based on value added not just re-jigging the binary file format.

The only bad thing is it took MS so long to d it.

The real reason they are doing it though, nearly all their new stuff in presentation, configuration etc is xml based, the propriety binary stuff was inhibiting MS itself.

XML is open by default, so they didn't hurt themselves by having an open document standard and they've finally helped us shedloads.

I still don't like MS's business practices but I can't find a fault with this move.

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by Jaqui In reply to How can this be bad ?

easily, Open XML is a wrapper for MS office binary formats.

it is not actually an xml format.

I'll try to find the articles I have read on it that show this.

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Hmm can't find anything specific myself except

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to how?

that charts , comments , images etc will be embedded in the files in a separate place. Also most of the quotes I can find relate to Office 2003.
I know MS specifically told me I'd be able to serve up word documents without having to run up an instance of wordv?? (the real practical problem) and make OLE calls to version specific libraries (the other practical problem) any more. There is a converter which will wrap previous versions of word documents as XML so you can view them.

I'll admit they could bugger them up but as I said the way they are shaping up through .NET 3.0, they will hurt themselves badly if they do.

One of those rare instances where MS and their customer's goals actually match up. I remain cautious, but I can't see a business advantage for MS to justify putting their usual boot in my nuts.

We need a shamefaced shrug emoticon, if I have to start agreeing with MS.

Just does n't feel right. :8}

That's twice in a day, subliminals in the advertising perhaps .

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by Jaqui In reply to Hmm can't find anything s ...

the Article with embedded links to most of the info I have read about it.

This was posted July 6, 2006, so it's not current news any more

editing to add:,1895,1985699,00.asp
the Article that /. had about it.

and there is an article lost somewhere on TR that can't be called up since the site change on it as well.

ahh, found it:**2.html

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Thanks, that explains why I couldn't find anything

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to here

I wasn't actually looking at ODF. I can see the point about translation, may be it will be something both can work towards, even if it's only making the basic format extensible for authors.
I can see why (don't agree !) MS want to go down the plug in route. A lot of their office strategy is active documents and they want their plug ins to be used.

My opinions on active documents match those on client side scripting (no real difference) , don't like them any more than you do.

Being able to serve up word documents without word though, I get a lot out of that.

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but if

by Jaqui In reply to Thanks, that explains why ...

MS could wrap thier heads around what XML is, they could add the features for word documents to ODF with an extra doctype for it, with zero problems requiring plugins to solve.

It's thier beleif that office documents have to be in a binary format that causes the problem.

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by Tony Hopkinson In reply to but if

but I was more looking at what I do now which is word compatible letters and reports. At the moment I'm carrying three word engines about and 2007 is going to give me a forth. We've done a fair bit to abstract out the actual mechanics of the OLE calls but it's still a pain in the arse every time MS change the format.
I could use ODF now, unfortunately the customers tend to be typical windows users who just buy a full MS 'business' set up straight off the shelf and are going to use word to talk to their customers because 'everyone' has it.
It would make my job easier if I could force them down the ODF route, but my name isn't Bill.

MS won't go to non binary while they've got a mass of documents in the real world which are in binary formats. At the moment the perception is that OO can't translate MS properly, they aren't going to do anything that cause a substantial shift in that, so the binaries stay.

I don't like it, but I try not to make a habit of p*ssing into the wind.

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by Jaqui In reply to but if

xml/xhtml and css for the files ]:)
every web browser will display it right.
[ other than cli browsers / braille terminals ]

so every client can read the file when they get it, no matter what version of MS office they got suckered into buying last.

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good point

by Jaqui In reply to Word support for Open sta ...

but you really don't take it far enough.

Open XML is an ms construction, yes.
it is a wrapper for the binary formats used by ms office, not an xml format.

MS has funded a word plugin to enable tord to read open document format, this was in the news about three months back.
yet the quotes from the ms rep show that ms does not understand what xml is or how it works at all.

I personally don't install any support for ms file formats, if someone really wants me to be able to read a file, they can use a true open format.

yup, MS doesn't know how to read xml formats, open office is not really functional with word versions above office 2k
[ ms formatting changes ]

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